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Hebert Turcios wrote:

Hello there,

I have a question about Apostolic Succession.

  • Is the Pope viewed as an actual modern-day Apostle like Peter, Paul, and the others, or does his office differ?

In Ephesians 4:11, Paul writes of the different offices that make up the Church Body:

  • Apostles
  • Prophets
  • Pastors
  • Evangelist
  • Teachers

with Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone, and the Apostles and Prophets as the Foundation. (Ephesians 2:19-20)

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Your response would be appreciated.


  { Is the Pope viewed as a modern-day Apostle like St. Peter or St. Paul or does his office differ? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Hebert —

Generally in Catholicism, the term Apostle is reserved to one of the original Thirteen Apostles.

The pope is a bishop (i.e. a successor to the Apostles) with special authority and the charism of infallibility when speaking to all Christian faithful definitively on a matter of faith and morals, but he is not an apostle (like other religions have, notably the Mormons.)

His work, however, is called apostolic; for example:

  • his diocese is called the Apostolic See
  • his blessings are called Apostolic Blessings
  • the court of the diocese is called the Apostolic Signatura

Then again, certain organizations dedicated to spreading the Gospel are called Institutes of Apostolic Life, so it's a general term.

It's possible to interpret those verses in Ephesians as merely referring to the Thirteen Apostles.


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